Pets as Passengers: Tips for Driving with Pets in the Car in Bellevue

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It’s not uncommon for pet owners to bring Fluffy or Fido along in the car. While the majority of car trips with pets go smoothly, sometimes dogs can react unexpectedly, creating a hazard for both the driver and the pup. If you’re a pet owner, here are some tips for keeping all passengers – both pets and people – safe while driving with pets in the car.

Use a Pet Harness

A dog-specific harness that hooks into a seatbelt can be a perfect way for keeping everyone safe. A harness will restrict your pet from being able to move about the vehicle and will keep him from jumping out of the car or making any sudden movements that could act as a serious distraction. When searching for a pet harness for the car, choose one that’s been crash tested, as many manufacturers do not crash test the harness.

Use a Kennel

If the harness doesn’t work, consider using a kennel instead. A kennel placed in a secure location (on the floor of the backseat for example) can keep your pet from distracting you. Keep in mind that this may not fully protect the pet in an accident.

Keep Your Pet in the Vehicle

Your dog might enjoy sticking his head out the window. But doing so can be dangerous. As notes, the dog may be at risk of being struck by debris from the road and is at greater risk if you are in an accident.

Always Stay Focused on Driving

Pets can be a big distraction while in the car and driving while distracted is extremely dangerous. According to, 65 percent of dog owners have admitted to holding down a pet, petting a pet, taking photos of their pet, or otherwise engaging with their pet while driving. Driving while distracted is one of the leading causes of accidents, injuries, and fatalities within the United States.

If you have to, take along a friend or family member when transporting your pet in the car. This allows the other person to deal with a pet who might otherwise become a distraction so you can focus on the road.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Near You Now

If you are in a car accident in Bellevue and somebody else caused the accident – like another driver distracted by a pet – you may have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. To schedule an appointment with an attorney, call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000.

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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.